I’ve been doing a lot of research on smart locks for my Airbnb. Most of the posts on this topic are older and there are new options on the market now. Does anyone have a smart lock deadbolt that you can remotely lock? I’m fine with manually changing the code for each new guest. But I want to be able to remotely lock the door and see who is unlocking it. I see a bunch of products that Airbnb is endorsing but I don’t need it to be connected to Airbnb so they change the code for me. That seems like overkill to me. Any recommendations on locks that are working for you are greatly appreciated. I’m looking for keyless entry with a punchcode. I don’t want a technologically challenged guest to have to use their iPhone to open up the door, for example.
I’m afraid that I’m going to be guilty of posting another link to my site
I hate the ones that are operated by smartphones as I’ve had bad experiences with them but here are (to me) the pros and cons.
We had an ace computer programmer stay with us a couple of weeks ago and he was telling us he liked our lock (a digital/combination lock from Schlage, which I would recommend for you - it’s exactly what you said you’re looking for), because he said it couldn’t be hacked - because it’s not connected to anything. He said the smartlocks that can be controlled through a phone are mostly bad because the ones whose apps he’s looked at, the apps are so poorly written, that they can be easily broken into by a programmer with just an intermediate level of knowledge.
[quote=“jaquo, post:2, topic:13012”]
I’m afraid that I’m going to be guilty of posting another link to my site
I hate the ones that are operated by smartphones as I’ve had bad experiences with them but here are (to me) the pros and cons.[/quote]
Well, I’m glad you posted it and you make several good points! One of which is the annoyance of having to constantly change the codes! At first glance, it doesn’t really seem like it would be that much trouble, but once you start having back-to-back check-ins and especially if you have more than one rental, it can become a real pain.
It turns out that changing codes is A LOT more involved than you might realize at first. We rent out two rooms in our apartment, and most of the year it’s really busy with check-ins and check-outs sometimes every day, sometimes every few days. But here’s what we used to do when changing codes. We first had to figure out a way to generate random codes. Because after the first few times, if you’re trying to make up codes in your head, all your codes will start to look very similar! Mine tended to look like years… 1812, 1963, 1776. You begin to realize if you want them to be really secure so no one could possibly guess them, you’re going to need to use a Computerized Random Number Generator, (which I’ll call CRNG - as in cringe everytime you have to use it)!
So each time you get a new reservation, you first have to go to your CRNG, generate a code, write it down somewhere (we ended up having to keep track of all this in an Excel spreadsheet). Then, the day the last guest checks out, you have to check with your spreadsheet to see what their code was, then delete it from the lock. Then you check with your spreadsheet to see what the new code is, and you program that in. But you also have to mark down somewhere in the spreadsheet, the check-out date, not only for each guest, but now for each code! - so you’ll know when it’s safe to delete them!
It’s a LOT more work than it would seem! It’s not like you can just walk up to the lock, type in 4 random numbers and you’re done. You have to keep track of each code, when it starts, when it expires (and remember to delete it when it expires), and you have to keep track of which guest each code is associated with. And if all that isn’t enough hassle, you also have to figure out a way to convey the code to the guest. In our case, we print out a welcome letter for each guest that contains the code. But we have to do some serious record keeping to make sure the right code gets printed onto the welcome letter, and gets programmed into the lock at the same time! There is a lot of record keeping to changing codes for each guest!
Finally, all of this became so much trouble for us, that we decided to change the code just once a month. We live in the apartment and we get a pretty good sense of our guests so as long as they all seem okay, we don’t worry about the code being in there for the rest of the month. But if we do have a guest that makes us feel uncomfortable for any reason, we’ll change it right away.
And @jaquo you make a great point about the smartphone locks that so many guests either don’t have smartphones or they can’t figure out how to use them, or they won’t have an internet connection when they get here, that they really are an unworkable solution for Airbnb at the moment.
I only have one listing and I live upstairs. I use the guests phone number as the code. So resetting it manually for me is not a big deal. I send them the code through the airbnb messaging thread and have only had a problem once when the guest did not have the app downloaded onto their phone. Now I tell them when they reserve that they need to download the app onto their phone if they don’t already have it there. I’ve been looking at the Schlage Connect series. Is that the one you are using?
Thanks for the link, Looks like you are endorsing the Kwickset locks. Thanks for pointing them out to me. I’ll see how they stack up to the Schlage.
I hope that my channel manager witll synch in the future a smart lock so it can generate a code that is sent to the code at the booking. I know beds24 started to offer it.
I use a Schlage Connect smart lock. It’s programmable with either 4 or 5 digit codes (I use the last 4 digits of the guests phone number). I like it so far. I can add/delete codes and lock/unlock remotely if needed, and it helps me know when the guest has checked out and I can head over and clean (I once walked in on a guest because they “misread” the checkout time. Never mind they told me they were leaving by 9am and I walked in after noon…Startled the heck out of me. Awkward…).
Code entering can be time consuming, but I set aside a few minutes the first of every month and program them all in at once, then add any additional codes for last minute stays as they come in.
I also like that you can name the codes so I know who is coming and going (I also have a separate code for maintenance workers, etc).
I do have a good old-fashioned key in a lockbox on site, just in case. So far I haven’t had to use it (knock on wood!)
Thanks tinyCar! You are the third person who is endorsing the Schlage Connect in the forums I’m in. So I think I’m going to go with this lock. I appreciate your thoughts. I currently have a key in a lockbox so I’ll just keep that there as a back up in case there is an issue! I probably only have 4 check-ins per month max, so I think the code entering won’t be a big deal,. It is great that you can do more than one in advance though. I’m liking this lock more and more!
I have different ones, but my favourite is the Resort Lock, it’s linked to Airbnb so I don’t have to generate the code and it only allows access during the rental period.
With the others we use the same code with guests for months on end and hope that no one realises they can re-access.
Dealing with keys is way too difficult.
We use the Schlage Camelot locks (others have mentioned). Have 4 of them on 4 houses, and a deadbolt and lever @ my primary residence. In 5 years, have never had an issue.
At my primary residence I have a model which is “smart” on a Samsung Smart Hub - and while it’s way nicer for adding/cancelling codes (can do on my phone!), at our rentals, I use the dumb version and have the cleaners change the codes by punching the programming code. Takes about 1 minute to change the code, once you’re used to it.
The biggest issue I worry about with all the “smart” locks is their dependence on WiFi. Just so unreliable sometimes. And last time we stayed at our own rental house, my 2 year old found a physical switch that turns the WiFi off on the wireless router (who makes such a switch?!?!). Took me 30 minutes to resolve, and I am a very technical person!
So I don’t relish the idea of having to troubleshoot wifi issues to reset a passcode - seems like a recipe for disaster with a less technical guest.
The resort lock doesn’t use wi fi.
Hi Poppy! Thanks for the info - I am curious though, how do you connect to it to change the codes? I was under the impression you could do this from the internet?
The connection is through Airbnb’s computer to the Resort Lock’s commuter.
When a guest makes a booking Airbnb notifies Resort Lock and the code is generated straight to you and the guest. You also have the ability to make your own access code if the circumstances are outside an Airbnb booking.
Hi, the Resortlock is an algorithmic lock. It is not connected to the internet. When you buy the lock from Lockstate, you sign up for a FREE online account. From here you enter the start date/time & end date/time, the software generates a long code that is automatically emailed to your guest. If you have the Lockstate/airbnb integration then this is all done in the background, no input from you required. You can also create local codes on the keypad for yourself, cleaner, emergency etc. Great product and truly smart!
Thanks SmartLock! So a simple way to think of it is that “all” the codes are pre-programmed? Because based on the dates you pick, a code is generated that “works” on those days, right?
If you are considering a smart lock that can be remotely controlled, Ultraloq UL3 BT Smart Lock may be a good choice. I used it for my residential home. You can have full control of all guests’ access and you can simply share a code to let visitors in when you are not there via an app on smart phone.
Amazon have just launched a product, sadly not currently available in my ZIP.
We are newly using Resortlock-- Pros: Doesn’t require a smartphone or wifi. Automatically emails a unique code to each new airbnb booking, using a template you provide. Cons: contrary to mention above, there is a 10/month fee. Also, one of our first two deliveries was defective and had to be replaced. Customer service is only available 9-5 M-F. Installing locksmith was unimpressed with quality.
I purchased a Lockstate 5i and had it installed at my house. I have been able to remotely generate a code for service workers to come in and then turned off access after they left. I just listed my property on Airbnb and haven’t had my first guest yet, but I’m hoping the integration works well.
I have noticed some people, including myself, have had to try the unlock procedure twice before the door actually unlocked.
It requires wifi.
Overall, I’m happy with the product so far.
I will recommend you to go with August 2nd gen smart lock, A distinct feature of the product is its ability to send warning messages to the users via an app when the battery of the smart lock decreases below a dangerous level. I find this service to be the best characteristic of this lock since it ensures that you are never caught off-guard.
Since the lock can be installed on the interior side of the door and still be opened from the external side, this product proves to be very difficult to be tampered with. Therefore, unless you want a person to enter your house, I highly doubt they can.
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